Eagles Mere and the Sullivan Highlands – J. Horace McFarland and Robert B. McFarland, 1944

Subtitle: “Origin and History of the region. Illustrations and descriptive text of this vacation-land of Pennsylvania.”

Eagles Mere is less than two hours from here. The name itself fascinated me initially, and my first visit gave the impression of a magical, romantic place away from everyday life. Alas, a subsequent visit revealed that there’s not much “there” there for a day visit, unless you love browsing little shops (a little goes a long way for me). But this book (which I checked out from the library basement when we were weeding the collection) reveals that there used to be more, especially for residents and long-term visitors. The hiking trails must still be there, and the “lake on top of a hill” is still beautiful. There’s lovely architecture as well, although a number of hotels described in this book have since burned or been torn down. The book is full of beautiful black-and-white photographs, on surprisingly nice paper (considering it was wartime). This type of old guidebook/souvenir/coffee table book has a relaxed and uncommercial feel compared to its tightly-marketed equivalents today. The McFarlands skip leisurely from topic to topic; they are sometimes conversational or anectodal, sometimes didactic and tedious. They basically toss in everything they know or could find: descriptions of all the Eagles Mere hotels, an analysis of the lake water (“pH: 6.2. Amorphous matter: Considerable.”), a poem about Joe Pye weed.

Just found the whole thing online! Yay Penn State!

One thought on “Eagles Mere and the Sullivan Highlands – J. Horace McFarland and Robert B. McFarland, 1944

  1. Eagles Mere is not what it was alas, but thanks so much for letting us know about this wonderful book which evokes the Eagles Mere that used to be…

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